Mohammad Rakibul Hasan

The Forbidden Love

“I grew up in terrible loneliness. I wanted to talk to someone, but no one was there to listen to me. I left home knowing that no one would come to take me back. I have never lived a normal life. And love has always been forbidden.” —Lara (23), transwoman and professional dancer

At the beginning of hormone replacement therapy, Lara was perplexed and faced difficulties. Nevertheless, she is still adamant in her process of transforming herself, yet her courage and determination do nothing to transform the course of society—especially its typical pejorative viewpoints about her. In Bangladesh, having been abandoned by family and friends, transgender people are subject to extensive daily abuse. The existing and continuously growing transphobia, homophobia, and sexism in society are obstacles in the trajectory of enlightenment for an individual where “love is forbidden” beyond the social gender expectations. Using interviews with the LGBTQ+ community in Bangladesh as source material, I recreate images of forbidden love as photographic tableaux.